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Julian Assange 7, Irs 7, America 6, Bradley Manning 6, Us 5, Ted 4, Allstate 4, U.s. 4, Washington 4, David Lowe 3, Cia 3, Kissinger 3, Obama 3, Jay Carney 3, Syria 3, Phillips 3, Lymphoma 3, Maxwell 3, Benghazi 2, Marco Rubio 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    May 13, 2013
    12:00 - 1:01pm PDT  

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>> if in fact the irs personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. and there is no place for it. i've got no patience with it. i will that tolerate it and we'll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this. with respect to benghazi, the whole issue of talking points frankly throughout this process has been a side show. there are still diplomats around the world who are in very dangerous difficult situations. and we don't have time to be playing these political game in washington. we should be focused on what are we doing to protect them? >> more and more and more congressional hearings are on the horizon it's a details of white house talking points emerge and cries of potential cover-ups grow. with the irs, there is no direct link between white house and the scandal. but critics find it hard to
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believe that low level irs employees devised and carried out the policy all on their own. instead they say the government abused the irs authority to punish rivals. here's what happened according to an internal audit. starting in 2010 the irs levied invasive questioning on groups looking for tax-exempt status whose names hit in a search skewed with seventh key words like tea party, patriot and government debt. these groups were then told to reveal their donors, something strongly protected by the 501 c 4 status. the irs has apologized but said it was an effort to combat the explosion of requests after citizens united, not to single out conservative groups but ago to the scandal, the irs repeatedly lied about doing it when asked by congress. three time, according to the "washington post." like i said, as of now, no direct tie to the white house. but with washington as polarized as it is, this is a story that isn't going to die with one presidential answer while he is standing beside british pm david
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camer cameron. we'll get into it much more coming one a presidential historian but first let's start with peter alexander at the white house. it was not supposed to be the sub but the irs dominated. >> reporter: if syria dominated the conversation behind closed doors, it didn't dominate in front of the cameras today. obviously benghazi and irs clearly the focus of this. we're learning new information even within the last several minutes right now. jay carney, the press secretary, gaggled as we would like to refer to it. the president was aboard air force one trying clarify details about the timetable about when the white house specifically learned about the misconduct at the irs. carney that it was april 22nd when the white house council's office first learn about the irs situation. that the president didn't specifically learn about it, nor did jay carney, until this past friday. here's what the president
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specifically said as we wait for the inspector general's report to come out of treasury department about the irs situation. >> this is something that i think people are properly concerned about. i can tell you that if you've got the irs operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. it is contrary to our traditions. and people have to be held accountable and it has to be fixed. >> reporter: the president referred to the irs situation as a wait and see situation. i guess you can compare that to him saying the conclusions have been made on benghazi. clearly pushing back on house speaker john bain here said this is the primary issue that he has focused on. now at this point. americans died, the president reiterated. he said the priority is that we implement all of the findings of the accountability review board. the a.r.b. those are already taking place. but benghazi as an issue is not
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dying. just today, darrell issa put out requests for sworn depositions of the two men who oversaw that review board. so much more on this to come. >> thank you for your time let's turn to contributor perry bacon, political editor. nice to see you on the show for the first time. >> good to see you, toure. >> we're in a hyper polarized situation. not just d.c. through throughout america. thisage of the turnout election when the two parties barely seem to be speaking the same language. republicans feel like the president is the worst president of all time. when you talk about benghazi, that confirm what they already feel. democrats feel like he is doing just work and republicans are attacking just to be him. so when you have scandals like, this does it really change anything when they confirm the biases they already have? >> i think it does change things. there are people working together. you take an issue where immigration, marco rubio is
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leading the effort. he is working with a bipartisan group. this is the one thing where the irs and benghazi can have an effect. if you're marco rubio, you're trying to show to the tea party folks, i can work with the white house. i can reach a compromise. you go back xhoem the tea party folks are like you're working with these people involve in the irs, involved in a benghazi cover-up in our minds? that's where it could have an impact. they are not like permanent issues but they could have an effect on the rest going forward. >> let me run two things by you. first on the substance, nbc news has the partial report. a partial draft report about these allegations. it is not good. what you have in there, clearly is an indication that at least at the low level, people were targeted because of their political views. unacceptable. quite possibly illegal depending on the details. and i want to read to you one quote that was not well known before today, basically.
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from commissioners, when asked about this in the finance subcommittee. he said when we decide to do an examination, we pride ourselves on being a nonpolitical, nonpartisan agency. this notion that we are anyone i think is off. he said that when senior frs if not him as well had been included. that on the substance, i want your response. then politically, isn't there a glass ceiling to this since mr. shulman was a george bush pointee, unanimously pointed by the senate. >> i think, talk about politics first. you saw the president say, he used the word outrageous to describe. this more importantly, he said i thought it was significant. obama said, this is something that i think people are properly concerned about. the president often thinks things we're about, people are overly concern about. so he and the white house are really trying to say this is a real scandal. we're really going to talk about this in detail and i think it was because they were not dregly
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implicated. on the policy matter, we've had several hearings. the irs was suspected of being involved in too closely scrutinizing group. this is a real problem. let me tell you something i looked up earlier today on the irs data. about 1% of individual tax returns, when you and your wife file a return, are audited. about 12 person are done for millionaires because they have more money. about 17% of corporations have audits done. it looks like 25 or 50, a really high number of tea party group, it appears were audited. that suggests, that's really dangerous. to make a joke about this. i wouldn't want prince to be ought it because he knows prince. we don't want to target groups specifically whether it is teerp, patriot, proceeding restive, liberal. this is a really bad thing. >> i think you're right and i think everyone agrees that this is not acceptable at all. on it was chilling.
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i totally agree with that. >> bringing it back to the politics, do you think there will be an impact on the 2014 mid-term elections? as you know mark the mid-term election in particular, it is all about having a base that is really energized. really motivated to show up at the polls and i think between benghazi and this issue, you have a republican base that is coalescing around something that is getting more motivated and more fired up. do you think that could have an impact on 2014? >> you already see minorities and younger voters tend not to turn out in the first place. that mean the obama coalition may not be there in 2014. you add to that, the tea party in a lot of ways is disengaged. a little language wishing after the election. i think if you abeen gazay, obama care, the problem is if they get too powerful, it is a
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back lash itself. >> one of the many reasons i'm so glad ari has joined us at "the cycle" is that he can be our team legal eagle. i want to quickly ask you, can these tea party groups sue the irs for first amendment infringement? >> yeah. they probably have two big claims. one is a coughs action that this type of targeting and review chilled their speech. that is, it had an adverse effect on the way they conducted their speech or their politics, even if nothing else happened. because they felt concerned. fearful. the second cause of action would be if they could demonstrate that they were tangibly harmed. for example they had to spend a lot of money on legal fees. that they never should have done in the first place. those are two big open doors if they want to go to court. >> and play that out politically for me. chairman issa will do an investigation. if you have all these tea party groups suing the irs over the next few months, maybe years,
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when you think back to the times that lawsuits against the administration in some way have played out, whether it was sb 1070 or obamacare, they might not have been ultimately successful but they did have a big impact on 2010. so what do you make of 2014 impact where potential lawsuits are concerned? >> i think first i was leading a tea party group in ohio, this was going to help you raise money. so this is a good thing to start. with it probably motivates your base. makes them more engaged. i think like the specter of a lawsuit in the middle an election. they were ready to move on from that issue. it is possible that we'll forget with this irs thing in a few months. then the lawsuit come back and who knows in september 2014, people are reminded again. did you it have a huge impact? probably not. could it affect one or two races, probably so. >> thank you very much.
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great stuff of we'll have you back. >> up next, presidential historian alan liktman on whether president obama has run into the second term curse or is that a silly superstition? ♪ [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health
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thanks to the beatles, the british invasion was fun, not scary. but if president obama was for any help from prime minister david cameron at the white house today, he didn't get it. and the one american reporter allowed to ask just one
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question, well, she wouldn't let it die. we've got time for a couple question. >> when did you first learn the irs was conservative political groups? do you feel that the irs has betrayed the public's trust and what do you think the repercussions for these actions should be? on benghazi, do you think the white house misled the public about its role in shaping the talking points and do you stand by your administration's assertions that they were not purposely change? is it your interception to send the syrian opposition forces weapons? >> the long and wiping road that that question was. i just came one that. in the guest spot today, here come the sun. the president historian, alan lichtman to put this second term curse business to rest. republicans have tried to make any number of these perceived failures stick to the president personally. and to mixed results.
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president obama did not really have to pay any political price for benghazi at election time. post election, poes show he might have lost a little confidence in leadership because of the sequester. now we'll see what happens with this irs thing of but he is saying he didn't know about it until now which i find really curious. because the new york times wrote about it more than a year ago. the treasury department report said they knew of it as early as 2011. historically speaking, how successful is it when you give the i didn't know defense? >> you know, it is about as successful as my going up to be the heavyweight champion of the world at 150 pounds. >> don't sell yourself short! >> ever. bill clinton saying, i did not have sex with that woman. richard nixon issuing denial after denial about his involvement in watergate.
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it doesn't work. as we know, one of the great cliches in washington is the cover-up is often worse than the scandal itself that's often what gets you, you know, caught in these things. and my advice which they never listen to, which i've been giving for years -- >> we'll listen, alan. >> you'll listen. will obama listen to you? come as clean as you possibly. cover-ups don't work. >> so i know that you remember that if you played the white album backwards, it said paul is dead. if you play benghazi backwards, you later watergate. so republicans keep saying, this is like watergate. also like iran-contra time ten. does this at all, what we know of the irs and benghazi, does it remind at all of watergate? >> it is not even close to watergate. you know, some other rules here, never compare anything to the
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holocaust. never compare anything to slavery and never compare anything thirdly to watergate. >> i didn't know those were your rules. >> i probably toll them from someone else. >> keep going, sir. >> watergate was probably the worst scandal in the history of the country. it wasn't just the break-in and the cover-up of the break-in. it was the fundamental effort to corrupt our government through illegal wiretaps, illegal campaign contributions, illegal use of the cia and the fbi. and by the way, also, illegal use of the irs to target enemies. so while there is some brush to watergate here, this isn't even a mini watergate and republicans are hurting themselves. they may have something here. but this hyperbole doesn't help them. it makes them look like a political gain than a serious attempt to find out what happened. the same thing happened to
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republicans during the impeachment of bill clinton. the democrats actually gained seats in the congress in the mid-term elections of 1998 because the american people believed that the inquiry was politically motivated rather than motivated for the good of the country. so the accusers have to be careful as well. everybody has to tread a fine line and follow my rules. >> we will do our best. >> and let me break in. the jury has reached a verdict in that trial of west philadelphia abortion doctor, kermit gosnell charged with murder. rehema ellis is following it. >> reporter: weaved heard the jury has reached a verdict. apparently they've come back saying that dr. kermit goss until they is guilty of three of four counts of first-degree murder. that was involving the deaths of babies aborted in the third trimester. the late trimester of pregnancy and we're still waisting for information about the other counts against the doctors.
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you know there was also a count of third degree murder involving a 41-year-old woman after she was given what prosecutors said she was given a lethal dose of painkillers following an abortion at the clinic. it was describe as a house of horrors, a clinic of horrors saying this clinic had not been inspected for some 17 years and they found thing that were so gruesome, so horrifying that we cannot even begin to tell you about what was going on there. but again, the jury, after this morning saying they were deadlocked on two of the counts. now say that they have found the 72-year-old dr. kermit gosnell guilty of three of four counts of first-degree murder. >> thanks very much. >> do we still have alan? all right. we'll keep you posted on any new developments. go ahead. >> the thing that strikes me about benghazi here is how different the perception is between democrats and republicans.
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on the right it is seen as worse than watergate. it is a scandal to top all scandals. on the left we don't understand that there is any scandal here. we don't understand what the fuss is about the of the talking points. have you seen in history an example where we don't even agree on the fact of whether or not there is a scandal there? >> well, that has happened in history. certainly in the early stages of the iran-contra scandal. perhaps in private even the president saying this was a patriotic thing to do. we were helping these freedom fighters in nicaragua and of course the democrats thought it was a fundamental corruption of the government. so there was real polarization there. as the guests have pointed out,
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part and passel of the dysfunctional poetarized system. while we're caught up in benghazi which i think is not all that serious, no one has come out and said if they had acted differently, they could have saved those people. it was more how they spun the result. and the irs scandal which is huge. but meanwhile, congress, the senate could not pass a gun control bill supported by 90% of the american people. we've done nothing whatsoever about climate change. and who knows where the immigration bill is going. we have a dysfunctional government and we're off in some cases chasing flies here. >> and just briefly before we let you go, a lot of times people would look at the second term for the president to get at least one big piece of domestic bipartisan legislation through. reagan is an example with taxes. do you see that as a good metric? or in this polarization, is that unrealistic? >> i think it is a good metric. i think it is possible and i think if it is going to be anything, it is likely to be
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immigration reform because of the political pressures on the republican party to deal with the hispanic vote. they can't win elections using 70 plus percent of the hispanic vote. >> hello, goodbye, and thank you. >> any time. up next, if it is a second term curse, how does the president break it? [ male announcer ] snap out of your snack routine with delicious pringles stix. ♪ ♪ everything pops with pringles stix. [ crunch ] i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone --
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everyone know this is a partisan witch hunt and a chance to attack. >> he is welcome to his opinion, i would like to see him and his friend in the media ignore these hearings after they hear from our first witness. calling miss jodi arias. >> do you swear to tell the truth, the whole trool trood and nothing but the truth?
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>> i do. >> when were you first made aware that our consulate was under attack? >> i guess this morning. >> i see. >> is it still going on? >> no, no. it happened last september. but -- >> who do you think did it? >> well, we know who did it. it was ansar al shari'a. >> if you know who did it, then why are you holding these hearings? >> politics collided with good old-fashioned courtroom drama on this weekend's snl. now it is monday and tlaefrt has died, particularly for the obama administration facing another week of tough questions. while the president may have left a little bruised and battered by the current news cycle, he proved today he still has plenty of fight in him. >> that's outrageous. there is no place for it. i have no patience. i will not tolerate it. the whole issue of talking
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points, frankly tlurkout this process has been a side show. there is no there, there. who executes a cover-up or effort to tamp i know ththings three days? the whole thing defies logic. we face a demanding agenda. but if the history of our people show anything, it is that we persevere. >> no shortage of topics to spin about today. it at this, of course, there are questions of is there a there, there as the president put it? i would separate benghazi and the irs issue. it they're very different. the irs basically everyone agrees that targeting groups based on their politics, left, right or center is totally unacceptable of i had we're all on the same page. there benghazi is a different issue. what i've been thinking about is, looking forward to the mid-term elections.
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i don't think the general public is going to automatically think the irs was targeting patriot groups, tea party groups, ergo it is the president's fault and he was doing this deliberately. most of the general public sort of likes this president. doesn't immediately assume the worst of him. but that's not the case on the right. they automatically do make those connections. and in terms of relevancy for the 2014 mid-term elections, where it is all about ginning up excitement in the base, it is all about driving that enthusiasm, i think that the irs issue, even maybe more than benghazi which we've been hearing about for a long time now, has a lot of relevance there and feel very personal to them. and could have an impact on turnout and enthusiasm in the right for 2014. >> we see the personalized participate read that obama gets, partly because of been gaza write and other things. we look at the twitter contraption thingy and it comes at you all the time.
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i'm glad to see obama not banging down in this thing. it he rightly labeled the irs scandal outrageous because it is. and that distances himself. like did not do this. this didn't come from me. the right will say yes, it did. you're the man at the top. the buck stops with you. in terms of benghazi, he continues to fire back. the talking point conversation is a side show. a circus. there is no there, there. it is not important what susan rice said on "meet the press" and the other shows. what is important is what happened in benghazi? now the media has their hooks in it so this will take up valuable second term time and oxygen, having to talk about this ratted than jobs, immigration, guns, thing that americans really want to hear about. one of the things, and republicans on the hill know this. benghazi was a cia outpost. it is filled with cia operatives. they don't want you to know everything. so you're never going to know everything that happened there.
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that we're not being completely transparent is not because wave cover-up to. it is cia. this is what is going on is not a relevant point. >> i think we've reached a real sad stage in been gazay. i want to be very clear. i will say this today on "the cycle." there is an abuse of power in benghazi. the abuse of power is the complete exploitation and politicalization of this strategy by some members of the republican party in the house. that is outrageous. and we know that because at the very time that they are supposedly investigating this, accusing the white house of as the president said today, some sort of weird three-day political conspiracy where it would be hidden but only for a few days and then they would acknowledge it was terrorism, while they're doing that, the national republican election commission, committee, excuse me, is fundraising off benghazi and they moved the target.
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it is disgusting. it has gone totally out of control and it is also sad because, and i don't say this just to beat up. i think it is absolutely true that we have to investigate these irs claim no matter how low they started. and yet we don't have, right now in the investigative committees or in congressman issa's office, people who earned or been secure about the public trust that we expect from nonpartisan investigations. we have vegas as opposition research. and that is not been the history. we have had nonpartisan investigations before of we've had the church committee. we have other good investigations coming out of congress but we cannot trust them to do it. that affects everything they might do. >> obviously i disagree with all of you on the implications and the talking points. i think when you have a filmmaker currently in jail in part because of that jail and you have foreign service on that trayvons who will be deployed around the world based on, on the what they'll fight for and what the administration will do when it finds, when they find
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themselves in harm's way. i think those implications are serious. i had the other story here is not that obama going into a second material. it is going to get pushed back from republicans. i think you're all right. that republicans are going to continue to drill him on benghazi and tax and irs and everything. the interesting thing to see will be what the press does. on friday with that presser, i saw them united in their contempt for jay carney's talking points in a way i have that seen this press pool be before. the press does not want to be made to look a fool and i think they're starting to feel like five years in, they gave this president a lot of good will. and now it feels like they might just think that the press is really stupid. and that they can get away with a lot. so i think you're going to start to see a lot more press agents asking tougher questions of this administration on benghazi, drones, syria, whatever it is.
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because their credibility is at stake and they don't want to be continued to look like fool just sitting back and eating up this stuff without asking the right questions of. >> and i hope they do. i know we're out of time of i hope they ask about drones in syria and some of the topics we mentioned. i don't see how track changes on a word document fall into that bucket of big issues. >> and i would like to see them asking some tougher questions jobs and employment. up next, inside the largest security breach perhaps in u.s. history, whether you think julian assange, the editor behind wikileaks is a hero or a traitor. a new documentary proves how much more there is to the story and the man. >> how are you? >> tired. i haven't been to sleep but good. massively -- max political impacted. ♪
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the prime suspect is 22-year-old bradley manning. >> the responsibility with the needs of the many. >> we promise that had we would publish anything by 1:00 in the morning. >> i took delivery on 390,000 secret u.s. military records. >> it was material which could get people hurt. >> if it helps occupying forces he deserves to die. >> they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldiers. >> how are we going to stop it? how far has it gone? >> it was a rock star. >> bullet-proof vests. >> he had been trained. >> this idealist became something else. >> i'm untouchable. >> that's from the trailer from the fascinating new documentary, we steal secrets about wikileaks. its founder julian assange and bradley manning who is in a military prison because he leaked military secrets to wikileaks which used the power of the internet to become a media organization of
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extraordinary power. allowing sources to maintain anonymity while exposing secrets of government. most notably some horrifying things that some in the u.s. military did in afghanistan. this sort of rogue power could not last. and assange has been neutralized by fesenko sources including credit card companies that have refused to process donations to the site and sex crime charges that some think are politically motivated. he is now holed up in the ecuadorean, and his voice has been muted. this will get people talking about him again. let welcome the oscar winning director and filmmaker behind we steal secrets. the story of wikileaks. alex, the film poseits assange and magic both as victims. i find them to be fundamentally different characters. assange set himself up to be this inlt national media figure. information clearing house beholden to no one. bradley manning joined the u.s.
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military and that's a really special group in society. once you join that group, you have to have some level of loyalty to it. and i feel like magnning's betrayal is something the government cannot allow because if every soldier who disagreed with what we did leaked to somebody, it would be impossible to have a military. so do you see the stories of assange and manning as fundamentally different? >> they are linked but they are different. you're right, bradley manning pledged an oath to the military. and he broke that oath. in fact he's pled guilty to leaking documents to wikileaks. i think you have to see that there are times when leaking can be considered to be something proper if what you find about the material that you're leaking that there is some kind of immorality going on. we look back at daniel elsburg. he was actually prosecuted for doing what we did. now we regard him as a hero.
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so it is a little more complicated. but there is no doubt in a technical sense, did he break his military oath. assange has to be seen as a publisher of documents. that's a role that i think is not inconsistent with "the new york times," the guardian and the german magazine who are his partners in this leaking publication. >> and alex, you're a story teller and part of the film looks at the personal stories of these characters. how do you go about telling us who these people are and what moved them without losing sight of the broader story, the ultimately the reason why anyone cares. that the cables and some of these other disclosures sparked revolutions in places as far as tunisia and potentially changed our foreign policy. >> correct. i think personal stories, the stories of individuals and broader social changes are linked. you can't disenletangle the two. i think the personal tales are
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terribly important. in the indicati in the case of asampgering purposely conflated the story by somehow trying to indicate that somehow the allegations, the sexual allegations against him in sweden were politically motivated. i don't think they were but i think he intentionally conflated them. >> of course the difference between newspaper outlets and wiki league, newspapers have editors and they have sources. there is eds cal integrity as opposed to what bradley manning did. to dump indiscriminate on the doorstep of wikileaks. and then with no real consideration for the countless number of lives that he may not have endangered in the process. do you get sense that julian assange or bradley manning, i know you didn't get to speak with him. did you get sense that was collateral to them? do they take into consideration the lives that they put in
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danger by doing what they did in. >> you can't bunch the two. let's remember that bradley manning is the leaker. julian assange is the publisher. as the publisher, julian assange is a transparency radical. and that did set him apart from the news organizations. but they were working in tandem. i think julian did not give nearly enough weight to the dang that might be done if sources were revealed in the course of leaking these documents. let's also say that nobody was in fact harmed. >> that we know of. >> yeah. that we know of to date. and believe me, the pentagon and the state department looked hard to see if they could find anyone who was harmed. but 'twas it was irresponsible for julian to leak documents without properly cleaning them. that is a very important function of this kind of leak. don't do any harm. >> a you were indicating, julian assange is a fascinating person.
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as best as you can figure, what sort of makes him tick? is it just his activist impulses? is he fame seeking? a little of both? what insights did you gain there? >> well, he says early on in the film that what motivates him is crushing [ bleep ]. and somebody says, what do you mean by that? he said it depends. so i think he is animated by a sense of holding governments and corporations to account. and he is very much of a transparency radical. in that he thinks leaking as much as possible is an absolutely good thing. i think the problem with julian assange is that he is not a very good listener. he is not a very good, he doesn't have a very good understanding or broader sense of the larger moral implications of this act that he is often involved in. >> all right. very interesting movie. check it out in a theater near you. thank you for your time. up next, one of the first forms of outspoken government
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criticism. the political cartoon. the former editor and publisher of the nation has put together an amazing collection of images that have shaped and reflected our time. this is betsy. her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ energy efficient appliances. you can get a tax write off for those. a programmable thermostat, very smart, saves money. ♪ cash money sorry. i see you have allstate claim free rewards, for every year you don't have a claim, you'll get money off your home insurance policy. put it towards... [ glass shatters ] [ girl ] dad! dad! [ girl screams ] noise canceling headphones? [ nicole ] that's a great idea. [ male announcer ] home insurance that saves you money for not having a claim? that's allstate home insurance with claim free rewards. talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] and let the good life in.
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there was this and this. she got a parking ticket... ♪ and she forgot to pay her credit card bill on time. good thing she's got the citi simplicity card. it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty rate. ever. as in never ever. now about that parking ticket. [ grunting ] [ male announcer ] the citi simplicity card is the only card that never has late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee, ever. go to citi.com/simplicity to apply. we may be living in the age of youtube politics and campaigns dominated by tv ads. old-fashioned cartoons still spark some of the biggest debates in politics in the u.s. and around the world. remember the 2005 danish
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newspaper cartoons of the prophet r prophet mohamed which caused riots. or back when obama was first running and the new yorker had him as an imagined radical fist bumping with michelle. these cartoons remain relevant because they upset the public and their powerful targets more than mere words. joining us, a former editor, my colleague is the author of the after the controversy. political cartoons and their enduring power. an honor to have you here. >> an honor to be here. >> so your book runs through a lot of great cartoons. especially of evil people. people like dictators or people who bullied and abused their power. there was one there of mccarthy and him sort of passing the dirty brush of mccarthyism on. a smear brush. another of adolf hit her.
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it was his original claim it's when he was first running. why do these depictions have so much power and what did any of these people do about them when they were depicted? >> it varies from people to people. in by the great british cartoonist, david lowe, and he would do cartoons making hitler look like a fool. and he said, people think wrongly that these dictators resent being shown as bloody monsters going through and killing people. that's the way they want to be thought about. what they don't want to be thought about is an as sprs whoa joke and hitler commissioned a book of cartoons answering the cartoons done about him. >> wow. >> he would throw a fit every time one of david lowe's cartoons came out. there was a great quote from lord halifax who came back from germany where they visited on behalf of lowe's paper and said,
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what can we do for you to take the ban of the paper away? he said, fire david lowe because hitler would go crazy and call meetings of his general staff every time would come out. on the other hand, people like nixon would just put herb block on his enemies list. >> end of story. >> and the great herb lock cartoon with the crowd waiting for nixon. it says, her he comes now, with their signs. then you see nixon climbing out of the sewer. >> the one i want you to talk about is henry kissinger by david levine, screwing the world i believe it's called, where he appears to be sexually dominating a female body with a globe on it, so he is having his way with the world. office politics around this, i don't want to talk about that. i want to talk about why you love this so much aesthetically. she seems to be enjoying. it was the world enjoying
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kissinger having his way with it. >> it's interesting you say that. we have a debate in the office about it after it appeared as you suggest. the young woman who was most articulate about it, who was our assistant circulation manager said the nation is supposed to be fighting against stereotypes and this cartoon shows the stereotype of sex as something an active male on top does to a woman on bottom. of course, kissinger's case, it was under an american flag. christopher hitchens who worked for us at the time said, to me it's not an act of rape, it's not a sex of act, it's an act of rape. the young woman said if you look at his hand on the mattress, seems to me the grip of passion. christopher wore a white suit and played the officer leaned over and grabbed her wrist and said, trust me, my dear, it's not the grip of passion. these cartoons give rise to jokes, but they're very serious and in kissinger's case he had this look on his face that david levine captured that mingled
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evil and ecstasy and it's -- as the great british cartoonist ralph stedman said, when you do cartoons, you show things that are possible to put into words. that's the strength and distinguishes them. >> it seems like the power, you talk about fact ridicule is not something that can be sanitized into words once you see it this way. i wish we had more time. the book "the art of controversy." thank you. victor navasky. check it out. up next, the immigration issue was expected to heat up again this week. the senate judiciary committee is meeting tomorrow to work through 300 amendments of the gang of eight plan. we have toure's thoughts on the heart of the matter next. [ male announcer ] away...
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the immigration debate is filled with economics, eventually it becomes purely emotional. the idea that we should be humane to foreigners as we have in the past, as a nation welcoming the poor huddled masses versus the idea we must protect america and some essential americanness from the castoffs of other nations. that emotional debate exploded after a widely questioned economic report by the heritage foundation which used a curious methodology to assert immigration reform will cost us trillions. that report was co-authored by one jason richwine, a harvard ph.d., whose 2009 dissertation spoke of genetic differences of intellect between hispanic immigrants and native white americans. and i quote "no one knows whether hispanics will reach i.q.parity with white. the prediction that new hispanic immigrants will have low i.q. children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against." it is? let me see. race is not a biological
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reality. it's a social construct. there's no genetic reason why anyone's i.q. would predict their kids' i.q. okay. done. let's not get bogged down with logic and stuff. this endlessly debunked biological determinism is the root of racial superiority. are we talking about ingrained differences in races in the 21st century? i say we, because though richwine resigned from heritage, not fired, he has been defended by rush limbaugh and michelle malkin and other conservatives. you say, hey, with friends like that, who needs enemies? they embolden people to believe it as if we're just the pc police calling it for what it is, racism. they're also signaling to hispanic americans we don't really want you in america. the heritage report which started this chapter was designed to cover for republicans who want to vote against immigration reform or force some others to be unable to vote for it because of the impact of disinformation on
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voters in media. several prominent republicans repudiated the heritage report including paul ryan who points out the cbo says immigration reform could help our economy grow. legalizing 11 million people would boost their wages thus boosting what they pay in taxes and spend as consumers and that would be a massive stimulus. that's just low-skilled immigrants. we know high-skilled immigrants have revolutionized silicon valley. they're clearly not the source of the irrational fear that some critical part of america will be lost by allowing in too many from other countries. i think that sentiment puts a fear of what would be lost that norman rockwell america, which is already gone, by the way. it puts that fear above a deep faith in this great nation, in that seductive force called americanness by which we will americanize the new comers via our schools, our culture and our people. the immigrants from mexico and cuba and latin america will surely become one of us and make this nation better culturally and economically just as those from europe and asia once did. we need not fear expanding the
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american family. we will make them americans and they will help us because americanness is too powerful to resist. we need only fear those who seek to inspire fear of the future. and throw mud into important discussions. immigrants of all classes will help improve america. we'll be better off embracing them and maybe deporting the fear mongers. that does it for us. martin, it's yours. good afternoon, it's monday may the 13th. as his critics grow louder, the president is running short on patience. >> under fire on several fronts. >> two controversial issues facing the obama administration. >> democrat or republican, this should send a chill up your spine. >> if, in fact, irs personnel were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. >> how stupid do they think we are? >> of course the white house